Spotlight on Acne
I wanted to write this post as I see clients of all ages who experience acne in many different ways, and it is always unpleasant. I am totally against use of longterm antibiotics - they actually weaken our immune system and fail to cure the root cause of the acne so it will just come back again. With this in mind I have set out general information, causes and my treatment advice, to help you take control of your skin and deal with your acne naturally and above all, effectively. Coming soon - The Acne Home Kit, a two-week programme to balance, nourish and banish acne, delivered to your door!
INFORMATION: The most common cause of acne is the blockage of the duct between the oil gland and the surface of the skin. There is more likelihood of this occurring if there are genetic links and hormonal changes - especially fluctuations in natural chemicals in the body called androgens e.g. testosterone, oestrogen, which peak and trough at various stages throughout each month in both sexes. Such hormonal changes can also cause oil secretions onto the skin to increase hugely, causing bacteria to multiply over skin's surface.
RESEARCH: Sebum production can be affected by lifestyle factors; for example, studies have shown that prolonged stress and eating excessive carbohydrate and fats will increase sebum production, with diary being named as a main contributor. Vitamin A and E deficiencies have also been clinically proven to alter skin's sebum production. Using heavy, chemical-laden makeup and skin creams will also help to clog pores and I always recommend light, mineral cosmetics and skincare to all of my clients.
Once it occurs, acne comes in a whole range of guises:
- Papules. Inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch.
- Pustules (pimples). Papules topped by white or yellow pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base.
- Nodules. Large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin.
- Cysts. Deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.
FOUR WEEK ACTION PLAN:
- Firstly, you must look at your diet; as I always say, healthy skin comes from within, so try to phase out dairy over a month period. Yogurts, ice cream, cheese and milk must all go - it's not an easy task but think of it as an investment into yourself for the longer term. If you are experiencing stress, caffeine will increase the already high levels of adrenaline in your body, so cut down to one morning cup daily, and please avoid supermarket bread (white and brown), completely. Instead, try wholegrain crackers with seeds and buy rye bread from your local bakery. Bulk up with protein snacks throughout the day and nuts, seeds and fruit to snack on. Also look at how much saturated fats and sugars are in your diet - these will very likely be contributing to the issue as well. As a general guide I often advise clients to avoid cakes and crisps Monday to Friday and have some treats at the weekends.
- Opt for skincare which contains ingredients high in Vitamins A, C and E. Look for extracts such as Rose Hip, Carrot Root, Wheatgerm, Kiwi and berry. Using a facial oil is not off limits - there are many light ones on the market and thistle and apricot oils are wonderfully balancing for acne skin. In all cases avoid makeup where possible and if it is necessary, opt for mineral makeup.
- In all cases of acne, twice daily cleansing is essential - please note, avoid exfoliants in the pustules stage. Choosing gentle, natural cleansers over more aggressive types will help to balance your sebum production naturally, as our bodies are so finely tuned that stripping the skin of oils actually makes the ducts produce even more.
- Make an evening kitchen cupboard acne mask: empty a fennel tea bag into a bowl, and add 2 tablespoons of honey. Mix well, apply to all affected areas - avoiding the eyes - leave for up to 15 minutes then rinse with tepid water and apply skincare. Repeat 3 times weekly. The fennel cleanses and improves blood circulation, whilst honey is a natural antiseptic.
- Avoid touching the face excessively in between treatments as this introduces more bacteria
- A course of Dermaroller Therapy can help reduce appearance of mild acne as well as deep scarring
Really hopes this helps and if you want to ask me a question directly please e-mail me here